In recent years, people and organizations have dedicated themselves to enhancing cultural art opportunities in the community. Though Claremont has long been home to the Opera House and Off Broad Street Players, it now hosts the West Claremont Center for Music and the Arts and the Repertory Theatre Company. Proponents of the arts are working with the Claremont School District to enhance student opportunities, and volunteers are organizing concerts series. As a result of these efforts, Claremont has become an emerging market for the Arts.

Last week, at the Claremont Opera House (COH) monthly board meeting, I learned of the “We Love the Arts” benefit concert to be held this Sunday, Feb 28th, at 3pm. It almost sounded like a version of the “Pitch Perfect” movies. Showcasing Dartmouth College’s top vocal and dance talent, the concert will include three groups. Dstyle is the college’s premier freestyle rap group. Established in 1995, Sheba is recognized as Dartmouth’s top Hip Hop dance troupe. The Dartmouth Aires, the college’s oldest acapella group, has been performing and touring the country since 1946.

These groups are generously volunteering their talents, and all ticket proceeds will benefit the Arts Council Foundation at COH. Recognizing the importance of the Arts in students’ lives, the Arts Council is dedicated to helping students in Claremont (K through college) pursue those activities. As one 2nd grader recently shared after participating in a school drama festival, “it was the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me. “ While it is impossible to foresee how far a student may go in pursuing his or her artistic talent, Claremont has graduated students who have played at national venues such as the Washington D.C. Symphony Orchestra. Please consider attending the benefit concert on Sunday at 3pm. Your purchase will give the Arts Council the funds needed to help students develop their artistic talents. Tickets will be sold at the door. Adult tickets are $10, students are $5 and children under five years old are free.

On Feb 18th, the Licensing Board approved the application for holding a summer concert series to benefit Arrowhead. Five of the six performances will be at Arrowhead and the other will be at the Visitor’s Green. While the opening performance on May 28th will be comprised of local bands, the remaining season will feature performers from as far away as Nevada. Given the outdoor venue and a relaxed setting suitable for picnic lunches, images of Tanglewood come to mind.

This could not come at a better time for Arrowhead. Though the volunteer organization worked diligently to make snow for tubing, snowboarding and skiing, revenue is down due to lack of snow and warm temperatures. Yet, despite the conditions, Arrowhead continues to be a draw for out-of-staters. This year, people from Connecticut and Rhode Island enjoyed the slopes. Transitioning Arrowhead into a summer platform for the cultural arts will only broaden the organization’s ability to grow and bring even more people to the community.

People in Claremont recognize the value of the Arts and its power not only to enrich the lives of its citizenry, but also to enhance the economy. Because of the work of many volunteers and organizations in our community, a market in the Arts has emerged and Claremont has become a more interesting place in which to live and visit.

Charlene Lovett is the Mayor of Claremont. Please send all questions, concerns or comments to